TaskMeter Documentation v1.00
© 2002 Mason McCuskey, Spin Studios
Put performance stats right on your taskbar!
TaskMeter lets you put your CPU usage graph right on your taskbar. You can also measure a wide variety of other things, including disk access, network access, context switches, memory usage, and many more. Anything you can monitor in performance monitor (perfmon), you can monitor in TaskMeter. You can even monitor statistics different machines on your network!
Dock TaskMeter to any edge of any monitor, or put it inside your taskbar. It behaves exactly like any other "desk band" (aka explorer toolbar or taskbar toolbar) on the system.
TaskMeter supports multiple graphs, with multiple lines, and user-definable colors and font settings. XML data files make it easy to automate or deploy throughout an enterprise, and low resource consumption ensures you'll get accurate data.
This documentation is divided into the following sections:
- Licensing Information
- The Graph Set Configuration Dialog
- Global Options
- The Graph Dialog
- The Line Dialog
- Advanced Topics
The demo version of TaskMeter behaves identically to the registered version, with one limitation: after 15 minutes of run time, the graphs stop displaying. The graphs come back when you reboot your system.
You can purchase the full version by clicking here.
TaskMeter is a small utility that lets you monitor your CPU usage (or other performance stats) through a small graph (or multiple small graphs) in your taskbar. TaskMeter uses the same libraries as the performance monitor program (perfmon) distributed with Windows 2000 / NT / XP. Anything you can see in perfmon, you can see using TaskMeter.
TaskMeter supports multiple graphs. Each graph can contain multiple lines. Each graph also gets its own scale, update speed, and appearance. A collection of graphs in TaskMeter is called a "graph set."
This dialog is the "top level" configuration dialog. Every configurable item in the program is accessible from this dialog. You reach this dialog by selecting "Configure" from the right-click context menu, or by double-clicking a graph currently running.
The Graph Set Dialog contains two tabs. The Graphs tab is where you'll spend most of your time. This tab allows you to edit all of the graphs in your graph set. The other tab, Global Options, allows you to adjust some options that apply to all the graphs. Currently there's just one but in the future there could be more.
Adding a graph
You have two options for adding a graph. You can add a graph "from scratch" by clicking the Add button. When you do this the system will create a new graph with default values, and will bring you to the graph dialog so you can edit those defaults.
The second method for adding a graph is to use the Duplicate button. When you click Duplicate, the system copies the graph that's currently selected in the graph list, and opens the graph dialog so you can edit the copy you just made. This is useful if you want your new graph to be "almost the same as" an existing graph - perhaps you want the graph to look the same as another graph, but track different data.
For more information on what to do once you've created a graph, see the Graph Dialog section.
Editing a graph
To edit a graph, double-click it within the graph list, or select it in the list and click the Edit button. You'll be brought to the graph dialog.
Deleting a graph
To delete a graph, select it in the graph list and click the delete button. The system will prompt you for confirmation.
If you accidentally delete a graph you wanted, immediately click cancel to exit the configuration dialog and cancel your deletion. Note that this will also cancel any other changes you've made.
Changing the ordering of graphs
You can use the Move Up and Move Down buttons to move a graph you've selected up or down the graph list. A graph's position in the list determines its placement on the toolband.
Saving and Loading Graph Sets
TaskMeter automatically saves your graph configuration when you hit the OK button, however if you're sharing graph sets between computers or if you just want to have a backup, you can save and load graph sets using the Save... and Load buttons. Graph sets are stored in a file format resembling XML, and are human readable. Gutsy users can refer to the section on advanced topics for more information.
Background Color and Grid Alignment
At the bottom of this dialog are two additional options. The BG Color drop-down lets you change the background color of the graphs. Currently you only see this when the registration message is displayed instead of the graphs.
The Alignment drop-down lets you control whether the graphs are placed horizontally (next to each other) or vertically (stacked on top of each other). You can also set this to "automatic." When it automatic mode, the graphs are aligned based on whichever direction has more room. If the graph window is wider than it is tall, the graphs will be arranged horizontally, otherwise they'll be arranged vertically.
- Flicker-free drawing: Check this box if you want TaskMeter to double-buffer the drawing of the graphs. Double-buffering eliminates flicker, but requires slightly more work from your CPU. In normal use double-buffering is fine but if you're doing precise CPU usage measurements you may want to turn it off to ensure that TaskMeter generates the minimum amount of "noise."
When you add a graph, or duplicate or edit an existing graph, you're brought to the graph dialog, which lets you place lines on the graph, setup the graph's appearance, and so on.
To Add a Line
To add a line to a graph, click the add line button (). You'll be brought to the line dialog where you can configure what the line is tracking, and what the line looks like.
To Edit a Line
To edit a line, click the edit line button (). You'll be brought to the line dialog where you can change the settings for the line.
To Delete a Line
To delete a line, click the delete line button (). You won't be prompted to confirm the deletion, but if you accidentally delete something you can get it back by clicking Cancel (note that you will also lose any other changes you have made).
Saving and Loading Graphs
You can save the graph you're editing to disk by clicking the Save button ().
To load a graph previously saved into this graph, click the Load button ().
Changing the Ordering of Lines
To change the ordering of lines, click the move up and move down buttons ( and ). Lines at the top of the line list are drawn first, and will appear behind the other lines. The line at the bottom of the list will appear in front of all other lines in that graph.
Setting up Graph Colors, Fonts, and Other Appearance Settings
On the right side of the dialog are several controls that let you adjust the appearance of the graph. You can play with these and see your changes applied on the preview of the graph in the top-left of the dialog.
One particularly useful feature is the Graph Colorization button (). This button lets you chose a color, then uses that color to "colorize" the graph, and all the lines in the graph.
Setting the Graph's Refresh Rate
At the bottom of the dialog is an "Update Speed" slider that lets you control how frequently the graph is updated (and therefore how quickly it scrolls). To change the update speed, move the slider, or type a new speed directly into the edit box to your right.
WARNING: Setting the graph's refresh rate to an extremely small delay (20 ms and under) may put a load on older computers. Only use fast update speeds if you have a relatively modern CPU.
The line dialog is where you change the appearance of lines on a grid, and where you tell TaskMeter what performance data the lines should track.
Note that only solid lines can be thicker than 1 pixel.
The data files that TaskMeter uses are a subset of XML. They are human-readable and can be opened for editing in any text editing application (i.e., notepad). You may find it easier to perform bulk editing directly inside these files rather than through the TaskMeter GUI.
Here's an example of a graphset file:
<Counter>\\altaira\Processor(_Total)\% Processor Time</Counter>
<Counter>\\MINERVA\Processor(_Total)\% Processor Time</Counter>
The options in this file correspond directly to the controls in the dialogs. Just make sure that the graphs and lines are numbered sequentially, starting with <Graph 1>, <Line 1>, etc.
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